Even the very few people who think making the first year or tertiary study fee-free must acknowledge that wasting $38m on dropouts is not good use of public money:
Students aren’t paying, but the taxpayer will. According to 2013 data, 14 percent of first year university students failed to complete their studies.
In its first year, the fees free policy will cost $275 million. If 14 percent of students drop out that means a potential $38 million could be spent on them.
The Government expects more people will enrol as a result of the policy – so in its second year, it will cost $372 million.
If dropout rates remain the same, that means a potential waste of $58 million.
“The government is giving money to rich kids and wasting it,” Mr Seymour said.
The $38 million is on top of what taxpayers already cover in fees for those who drop out.
Before the fees free policy was adopted, the Government was already funding 71 percent of the $2 billion cost of tuition.
It’s ridiculous that $38m is being wasted one dropouts, it’s no better that most of the rest of this year’s $275 million is being wasted on people who would have been enrolling for tertiary education anyway.
Just think how much good that money could do if it was spent on the children failing earlier in the education system – the ones who can’t read and write.
Unlike tertiary graduates who will generally earn far more than non-graduates over their working lives, these people might never be able to get employment.